Let’s conduct a blind test here. The following Soundcloud track is just a sample (1:40). but for now, switch your lights off (or close your curtains), lean back in your good chair, hit that link, and close your eyes.
That, my reader, is Sakura Fujiwara, a young girl from Fukuoka who’s just barely 19. This track comes from her debut album full bloom that was released in March 2014.
I hope you haven’t cheated and gone off to look for her pictures (because shame on you for spoiling the fun). But imagine the sort of person with the rich alto tone (she reminded me of Brooke Fraser in her early days).
Now this is who she is:
Like, what? WHAT?!?!?!?!
Call me prejudice but this is the face of an AKB48/BABYMETAL pop idol. Not a mature, introspective, perceptive, talented, independent singer-songwriter.
That’s right. She plays guitar. And she’s GOOD at it.
It’s unfortunate that her YouTube channel only has two videos. But thankfully there are others where she’s performed live in different venues. In addition to her official website, she also has official channels on Facebook and Soundcloud for more track samples, but they’re all in Japanese.
Her latest single is Just one girl, which is the theme song for a new J-drama Gakko no Kaidan (「学校のカイダン」The School’s Staircase) which aired at the end of January.
All songs are for sale on iTunes and Recochoku – but you may have better luck with the latter outside Japan.
(Extra tip: Full bloom made my morning jog a more relaxed and enjoyable one today.)